Inside Soul Robotics’ contrarian approach to self-driving car technology

Seoul Robotics has taken many paths toward the commercialization of self-driving cars. Rather than developing and building an entire self-driving system, including sensors, into the vehicle, the city of Seoul is focusing on the surrounding infrastructure.

And its contrarian approach has attracted a new group of investors and $25 million in venture capital. The Series B funding was led by KB Investment, according to the company. Soul Robotics.

“Rather than equipping the vehicle itself with sensors, we are equipping the infrastructure around it with sensors,” said Jerone Floor, vice president of products and solutions at Seoul Robotics, when the company partnered with NVIDIA in August. is talking to

The company’s autonomous vehicle infrastructure platform is Level 5 control tower (or LV5 CTRL TWR), along with the branded Sensr software, collects information from sensors such as cameras and lidar (light detection and ranging radar) and other data stored in the cloud and sends it to the vehicle. To do.

According to Hanbin Lee, CEO of Seoul Robotics, the LV5 CTRL TWR uses the vehicle’s built-in automatic transmission and connectivity to steer autonomously without the need for hardware.

Seoul Robotics claims that the LV5 CTRL TWR provides information about the surrounding environment to help vehicles choose the safest route.

The infrastructure platform enables vehicle functions such as lane keeping and brake assist through a technology called “Autonomy through Infrastructure (ATI)” and a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication system that transmits information from vehicle to vehicle. manage the functions of Surrounding infrastructure and other vehicles.


Soul Robotics deploy the technology In collaboration with BMW, the new BMW 7 Series and the all-electric BMW i7 will be tested in German car pilot programs. July 2022.

Founded in 2017 by four co-founders, Seoul Robotics is now working with global OEMs such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Qualcomm and LG Uplus to diversify the use of its systems. I’m here.

“We are currently in talks with about nine more global OEMs about partnerships,” said Lee.

Lee also said that one of its most unique features is that Sensr software, launched in 2018, allows users to select the sensor or sensors that best suit their needs, meaning customers can choose the sensor that fits their requirements and budget. said that it is possible to choose a service based on

“Sensr is still the backbone of our products, including the LV5 CTRL TWR, but the types of solutions we offer are much more sophisticated than they were in 2018,” Lee told TechCrunch. offers three plug-and-play LiDAR development kits that include all the components needed to set up a 3D system.” Furthermore, Pedestrian Safety, Railway Obstacle Detection, Level 5 Autonomy, etc. “We provide tailored solutions for specific applications,” continues Lee.

Lee explained that all the early LiDAR-based recognition software was developed by sensor manufacturers, which requires tying the software to the hardware. “With that approach, the challenge was that each sensor has different strengths and weaknesses. “We can’t even combine the sensors we have in there.”

Image credit: Soul Robotics

Last week, the company launched a feature that uses LiDAR and its Sensr software to detect and alert you to instances of wrong-way driving. According to Seoul Robotics, the reverse-driving detection feature has been installed on highways and highways in California, Florida, Tennessee, Europe and Asia.

With the latest funding, the startup will expand its team and expand Sensr’s applications to extend its automated vehicle technology to other industries such as logistics (rental vehicles, truck yards, automated valet parking systems), smart cities, security and more. plans to offer to potential partners of Lee said. Other investors Noh and Partners, Future Play, Korea Development Bank, Artesian and Access Ventures also participated in the Series B.

Headquartered in Seoul, with offices in Munich and Raleigh, Calif., the company raised $6 million in Series A funding in 2020.

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